Rock the South brought another huge crowd to Cullman — an estimated 65,000 — to try out a new venue, which proved to be a learning experience for the promoters.
Even with the challenges faced this year, Rock the South co-owner Shane Quick said "one of the hottest names in country music in the world has already been booked for next year."
Fans will, of course, have to wait for that announcement, but Quick said the two-day country music festival has grown to the point that performers are requesting to be in the lineup.
"When you look at the reaction of the artists to play here and what Rock the South means, you've become a legacy festival," Quick said.
Rock the South has built a reputation for booking stars who are among the hottest in the country genre, as well as rising stars, and performers who have a long history and loyal fan base.
With the concert moving to a 140-acre site this year, the promoters faced numerous challenges, from dry weather that created a dusty cloud to long lines of traffic trying to access the venue.
"The worst traffic problems were on Friday; it's like everyone came at once, but we were able to make adjustments through studying what was happening by using drones. By Saturday it was going much smoother and we had about the same size crowd that day," Quick said. "We had about five and half weeks to get ready after the permit process, so there were a lot of challenges and things that had to be worked out."
He expects that next year's event will be smoother, from arriving at the site to conditions on the grounds.
"Rock the South has become the largest venue in the state," Quick said. "There were some things we couldn't simulate, but this was another learning experience and we will be more prepared next year. We're definitely happy with the new site and all of the new amenities it provides for fans."
Kid Rock, Florida Georgia Line and Brooks & Dunn were among the headline acts over the two days.
As part of Rock the South's tradition, six local organizations were awarded thousands of dollars during the event. This year's recipients included The Link of Cullman County, Childhaven, Brooks Place, Curt's Closet, The Bridge and Cullman Regional Foundation.
"We'll have a total on what actually was given, because we hire some of the charities to work, which provides even more money than the checks you awarded," Quick said.
David Palmer may be contacted at 256-734-2131, ext. 116.